77 – Wandering central Buja

Thu 11th Feb, Hotel L’amite, Bujumbura, Burundi

Woke up early and checked for buses out of Buja. There were many options, 1) to go back he way i came, through Kigali, Kampala then Nairobi. (24hrs) 2) To go south to Tanzania in Kigoma. (6hrs) 3) To go east into Tanzania to Mwanza. (12hrs to Kahama + 4 hrs the next day to Mwanza) 4) To go straight to Dar Es Salaam on the eastern coast (at least 24 hrs). 5) To go into Democratic Republic of Congo. I decided against option 5 since i’m stretching myself out too thin here. Plus safety is an issue, the best crossing is at the Rwanda/DRC border, the Burundi/DRC border is a bit of an unknown.

As i was walking around the bus companies, i came across Eugenie, the Rwandan girl from yesterday. She was collecting her materials and selling them to her customer in the central market. I ended up spending the whole day with her. Depositing her materials, having lunch together, later collecting her cash from her customer, and while waiting, taking a bus to the suburbs to visit her Rwandan friend who moved here. The last one was interesting since all the kids in the area was looking at me.

Buja central market area is hectic, crowded and disorganized. There was nothing much of interest, the main points of interest were just outside the city: the beaches of Lake Tanganyika, one monument with the source of the nile, and another with Livingstone’s spot. But i didn’t visit any of these. Instead i was walking around the maze of warehouses in the market and talking to the shopkeepers and locals, who assumed i was some businessman from China. =) All along i get gawked at, with the locals talking to her, which went along the lines of “wow u got yourself a chinese mzungu boyfriend!” hahaha

I decided to loop around Lake Victoria, back into Nairobi, before heading down to Dar Es Salaam. This way, i take up one day extra but get to see inland Tanzania, in the Sukuma region.

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